Iconic Indian village in downtown Estes Park to close by end of October – Longmont Times-Call
The iconic Miller’s Indian Village, located on what may be the most visible shopping corner in downtown Estes Park at the intersection of Elkhorn and Moraine avenues, will close soon, possibly before the end of the month.
The Miller family sold the Indian Village building for $ 3.6 million, according to Larimer County real estate records, and a lease to continue the retail business has not been signed. The new owner of the property, Estes Entrepreneurs Hub Inc., has a “verbal lease” but does not know when the Indian village will vacate, said Sabir Shrestha, a restaurateur from Estes who, along with his partner, closed the property on 20 August.
The seller was the legal entity APROPO Inc., a company with a Boulder address that formed in 1951 when Charlie and Charlotte Miller purchased the property for $ 19,500. It currently includes the Indian Village, Lonigan’s Saloon and The Old Fashion Candy Store.
The property sellers included the current Indian village operator, Toni Miller; his brother Bob Miller, president of APROPO; and the children of their late sister.
The Millers began operating in 1935, but did not purchase the site until 1951. The family also operates Miller Curio Co. in Tucson, Arizona, where they spend the winter.
Shrestha, who owns Lonigan’s along with two other restaurants in the community, has no plans for the location of the area. “I want to save the heritage, the culture,” he told BizWest. He said the building will require some maintenance and repairs. It was built in 1901 and measures 15,441 square feet, according to county property records.
The opportunity to buy the building came somewhat by chance, Shrestha said. “I started my journey from the bottom,” he said, explaining how it happened. He held entry-level restaurant positions at Estes Park before having the opportunity to become a chef and later a restaurant owner. He described Lonigan’s as “a dive bar” before he and his partner bought it and converted it into a family pub.
“Last year we had four years left on our lease for Lonigan’s, and we wanted to add five more,” he said. So they approached Bob Miller. He would not extend or renew the Lonigans’ lease because the building was going to be sold, he said. “How about you buy it?” Shrestha quoted Miller as saying.
The $ 3.6 million price tag was more than they thought they could afford, but their bankers believed it could be achieved with their restaurant income and rent from tenants.
“We have invested our life savings,” Shrestha said.
He said the new owners wanted to charge fair rent for the spaces in the building. The Indian village, as the former landowner, did not pay market rent.
“I can’t afford him (Toni Miller) to pay his current rent. She decided to move. I don’t know when or where.
Toni Miller said she was offered a three-month lease, and “I saw no interest in that. I would have liked a two or three-year lease. I decided that if I should cut the cord, you might as well do it now.
She said part of the Native American inventory would be moved to Tucson.
She said she would like to move the store elsewhere in Estes Park, but properties are hard to find. Until closing by the end of the month, she said, the store will continue to sell merchandise.
“Anything we can do in the meantime, we will.”
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